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Singular noun with plural pronoun

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Singular noun with plural pronoun

Postby aemilius » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:05 am

Hi all, this is from Matthew 1:21:
[face=SPIonic]au)to/j ga\r sw=sei to\n lao\n au)tou~ a)po\ tw~n a(martiw~n au)tw~n[/face]
Well [face=SPIonic]lao/n[/face] is singular but [face=SPIonic]au)tw~n[/face] is plural. Why is that?
Last edited by aemilius on Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bert » Mon Oct 13, 2003 1:40 pm

I assume it is because the sins are sins of individuals (pl) and not of the people as a whole (sg).
I hope someone with a little more confidence than me will also reply.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:28 pm

What's verb?
As he himself <verb> his people from their sins.
So it's like Bert said, people in this case is not as in the people belonging to a country, but as in the persons composing a community.

Someone went a bit mad on autos here, I think... :P
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Postby klewlis » Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:12 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Someone went a bit mad on autos here, I think... :P


Well, keep in mind that the author of Matthew was a Jew (and, if it really was written by the apostle Matthew, a relatively uneducated one at that!) and so Greek was not his first or best language and his use tends to be... different ;)

anyway, it was a typo here and should be:
[face=SPIonic]au)toj gar swsei ton laon au)tou a)po twn a(martiwn au)twn[/face]

and yes, the two nouns disagree because one is speaking of the people as a collective, but the sins belong to individuals. just as in english we wouldn't say "save the people from its sins" as though the collective had sins (I guess that *could* happen, but is not common).
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Postby Bert » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:12 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Someone went a bit mad on autos here, I think... :P


Why? I am not as seasoned in Greek as some of you, but I think that autos makes perfect sense here. It is just putting emphasis on who will do the saving. "...and you shall call his name Jesus (meaning saviour) for he will save his people from their sins". ie. that is why he will be called Jesus.
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Postby klewlis » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:33 pm

I think she's referring to the fact that he used autos, autou, and autwn in such close proximity with each other... although it could be argued that they were all necessary for the right emphasis, but I don't think so. :)
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Postby Bert » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:43 am

I see. I didn't notice this, possibly because I'm (slightly) more familiar with NT greek than with Classical.
I remember asking a question on the 'Learning Greek' forum something like if i am just supposed to use context to find out whose son/daughter/object Homer is writing about because he usually does not use a pronoun to indicate it.
If Homer had written Matthew, maybe this verse would look like; [face=SPIonic]saw/sei ga\r lao\n a)po\ a(martiw=n[/face]
(Except it would be in hexameter)
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Postby annis » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:59 am

Bert wrote:If Homer had written Matthew, maybe this verse would look like; [face=SPIonic]saw/sei ga\r lao\n a)po\ a(martiw=n[/face]
(Except it would be in hexameter)


Ay, Bert! I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to fit [face=spionic]a(martiw=n[/face] into the hexameter, but it forms a cretic (- u -) which simply cannot be worked in anywhere.

Huh. Nonnos made a verse paraphrase of John in hexameters. I wonder how he managed it. Alas, the Bibliotheca Augustana only lists this work, and doesn't have the text.
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Postby aemilius » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:08 am

Emma_85 wrote:What's verb?


Sorry I missed the verb it is [face=SPIonic]sw~sei[/face]

klewlis, thanks for the correct quote.

Bert wrote:I assume it is because the sins are sins of individuals (pl) and not of the people as a whole (sg).

Bert I think this is a good point. Thanks.

Thanks all for the replies :D
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Re: Singular noun with plural pronoun

Postby Skylax » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:38 pm

aemilius wrote:Hi all, this is from Matthew 1:21:
[face=SPIonic]au)to/j ga\r sw=sei to\n lao\n au)tou~ a)po\ tw~n a(martiw~n au)tw~n[/face]
Well [face=SPIonic]lao/n[/face] is singular but [face=SPIonic]au)tw~n[/face] is plural. Why is that?


This kind of agreement is very frequent in Greek (no matter which Greek) and in Latin too. It is called an agreement [face=SPIonic]kata\ su/nesin[/face] "according to the meaning". Yes, [face=SPIonic]lao/s[/face] is singular, but the author has nevertheless many persons in sight.

Speaking of being mad on some words, do you know this sentence :

[face=SPIonic]Bi/oj bi/ou deo/menos ou)k e)/sti bi/oj[/face]

Here, the meaning of [face=SPIonic]bi/oj[/face] changes each time : "A life deprived of means of existence is no (decent) way of life."
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Postby Bert » Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:09 am

annis wrote:
Bert wrote:If Homer had written Matthew, maybe this verse would look like; [face=SPIonic]saw/sei ga\r lao\n a)po\ a(martiw=n[/face]
(Except it would be in hexameter)


Ay, Bert! I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to fit [face=spionic]a(martiw=n[/face] into the hexameter, but it forms a cretic (- u -) which simply cannot be worked in anywhere.



The funny thing is, when I wrote this post I was thinking:" Just wait and see, William will try it". :D
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Postby annis » Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:29 am

Bert wrote:The funny thing is, when I wrote this post I was thinking:" Just wait and see, William will try it". :D


Oh, no! I'm so predictable.

I did try it. Since it's impossible to work in any form of [face=spionic]a(marti/a[/face] except the singular nominative or dative with synezesis, my fixation moved on to iambic trimeter - the standard form of dialog in Greek drama. Alas, all I could manage was an iambic trimeter catalectic (I dropped the final syllable):

[face=spionic]a)f' a(martiw=n ga\r lao\n au)to\j sw/sei[/face]

And I'm not entirely sure about the [face=spionic]g/ar[/face], but I think that use may sanctioned if we take the prep+noun to be very tightly bound.
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